Touch move rule

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David Blower
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Touch move rule

Post by David Blower » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:30 am

I enforced it strongly tonight in my match. I felt bad about it, but it was an ECF graded match. This is the position. I am white. It is black to move, and my opponent is in check.



From here my opponent made the move Qe7. I then pointed out he was in check, and that he had a legal move with the Queen, and must move the Queen. Qd4. Qxd4. Ouch! Not that I felt good about winning with such a mistake, (clearly my opponent didn't know he was in check.)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:08 am

Don't feel bad. It's a law of chess. It's not your fault if your opponent doesn't notice a check.

And although it's irrelevant, you are winning anyway, and Qc3+ wins at least an exchange as well.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:21 am

David Blower wrote:I enforced it strongly tonight in my match. I felt bad about it ....
Why?

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Gordon Cadden » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:28 am

Have always announced a check. If you do not announce check, then you are hoping that your elderly opponent will overlook that his/her King is in check.
Integrity is important.

Clive Blackburn

Re: Touch move rule

Post by Clive Blackburn » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:44 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:Have always announced a check. If you do not announce check, then you are hoping that your elderly opponent will overlook that his/her King is in check.
Integrity is important.
I very seldom announce check, unless my opponent is either very young or has a very low rating.

I never announce mate either - once mate is on the board, the opponent will soon work out that he doesn't have any legal move.

The reason for my never announcing mate probably goes back to an incident in the 1980's which is still vivid in my memory. My opponent sacrificed a piece then played a rook check and sat looking me straight in the eye. I carried on studying the position and after about 10 seconds he said "I think it's checkmate isn't it?" I pointed out to him that I could interpose a knight to block the check. I then played the move on the board as it was the only legal move available and shortly after that he resigned. I will never forget the look of embarrassment on his face when he realised that he had wrongly claimed checkmate and I don't ever want to put myself in the same situation!

Clive Blackburn

Re: Touch move rule

Post by Clive Blackburn » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:47 am

Clive Blackburn wrote: I very seldom announce check, unless my opponent is either very young or has a very low rating.
Actually there is one other situation, which is when I have plenty of time on my clock but my opponent is in chronic time trouble.

Then I would announce checks, whatever the opponent's grade.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:16 am

I never announce check. As a player, I find it slightly irritating when my opponents do so. I consider it entirely my responsibility to notice.

As an arbiter, I've occasionally had to deal with complaints from players that they were being distracted or annoyed by their opponents announcing check.

I first played in the annual Hastings v Insurance match when the late Frank Rhoden was still around. When he announced check, everyone in the room heard it all too clearly.

Chris Rice
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Chris Rice » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:43 am

The only time you should really talk during a tournament game is if you're offering a draw. Once could argue that its very distracting which I found one time when playing a regular Sussex player of Polish extraction at Hastings who took great delight in loudly pronouncing "schach!" whenever the opportunity arose.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:53 am

David Sedgwick wrote:As an arbiter, I've occasionally had to deal with complaints from players that they were being distracted or annoyed by their opponents announcing check.
There always seems to be one junior at junior tournaments, who can't do something like KQ v K. So until you wander over there, you hear "CHECK ... CHECK ... CHECK ... CHECK ... CHECK".

When at secondary school, we always announced check if we were winning our games at the time, so the rest of the team had a clue as to how we were getting on without having to wander over ourselves to find out. So I was even causing trouble at chess matches as a 14 year old, which I'm sure you all find hard to believe... :oops:

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:16 am

I never announce check. As a player, I find it slightly irritating when my opponents do so.[/quote]

The implication that you wouldn’t have noticed is a bit of an insult, isn’t it? Isn’t there a story about a GM (Miles?) who heard his opponent announce check and responded by glancing at the board with a confused expression and saying “Ah, so it is.”


David Sedgwick wrote:I consider it entirely my responsibility to notice.
Indeed. Also the pressing of the clock. Although I’m a little more variable on that. The other night I pointed out to my opponent that he hadn’t pressed the clock. I don’t always do that.

Andrew Camp
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Andrew Camp » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:49 am

Clive Blackburn wrote:
Gordon Cadden wrote:Have always announced a check. If you do not announce check, then you are hoping that your elderly opponent will overlook that his/her King is in check.
Integrity is important.
I very seldom announce check, unless my opponent is either very young or has a very low rating.

I never announce mate either - once mate is on the board, the opponent will soon work out that he doesn't have any legal move.

The reason for my never announcing mate probably goes back to an incident in the 1980's which is still vivid in my memory. My opponent sacrificed a piece then played a rook check and sat looking me straight in the eye. I carried on studying the position and after about 10 seconds he said "I think it's checkmate isn't it?" I pointed out to him that I could interpose a knight to block the check. I then played the move on the board as it was the only legal move available and shortly after that he resigned. I will never forget the look of embarrassment on his face when he realised that he had wrongly claimed checkmate and I don't ever want to put myself in the same situation!
Reminds me of a game I played at South Lakes once. My opponent mysteriously sacked a piece for no reason I could see. I took it and the he slammed his Rook down on a8 and said, 'I think you'll find that's mate!' before holding out his hand.

I calmly moved my own Rook back to f8 and he resigned a few moves later.
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John Upham
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by John Upham » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:52 am

If my opponent announced check (some players appear to hope more than their opponent notices) then I would request that they desist.

It is rather annoying especially when the source of this distraction is other boards.

I would not discriminate on an age, gender or playing strength basis on this.
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Adam Ashton
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Adam Ashton » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:59 am

I think it would have been sensible not to claim tbh.

Option A - Claim the game on a technicality
You feel dis-satisfied as it spoils the game
Your opponent feels aggrieved
It spoils the atmosphere of a friendly match and everyone goes away feeling a bit crappy

Option B - Don't claim
You win anyway as your position is overwhelming
You feel great because you played a nice game
Everyone thinks you're very sporting
Your opponent is happy(ish)
Everyone goes for a pint afterwards

I'm assuming the game doesn't have tremendous significance of course. I think you'd be obliged to claim on behalf of your team if it did.

Now if you were losing...

Matt Fletcher
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Matt Fletcher » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:29 am

Andrew Camp wrote: Reminds me of a game I played at South Lakes once. My opponent mysteriously sacked a piece for no reason I could see. I took it and the he slammed his Rook down on a8 and said, 'I think you'll find that's mate!' before holding out his hand.

I calmly moved my own Rook back to f8 and he resigned a few moves later.
Which in turn reminds me of a game I played in a junior tournament - I'd blundered early on and was in a losing endgame, so came up with the plan of stalemating myself. I managed to do so, sacrificed my final piece and said "draw" - my opponent laughed and said "no thanks" until it dawned on him that he'd managed to mess it up despite being something like a rook and 4 pawns.

He wasn't happy... 8)

On touch-move, it's part of the game. Again as a junior I enforced touch-take on a very strong player (now an IM) when we were both on 4/5 in the final round of a quick-play tournament. It turned a tricky position into a winning one as my opponent was forced to sac his Queen... Didn't feel great about that one immediately but it was a very clear infringement - he picked up my pawn, just hadn't noticed it was defended.

Graham Borrowdale

Re: Touch move rule

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:44 pm

It comes back to the other argument about whether the player who touched his queen should 'walk', without having to be reminded, and making his opponent feel bad for 'claiming'. Presumably he knew he had touched the queen. I would like to think that in that position most players, having touched the queen, would then move it, even if their opponent were not at the board, even if their opponent did not 'claim', and even if nobody else saw what happened.

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